ACROSS AMERICA — Dear readers, how about a joke?
It’s childish, it’s silly, and it’s just the kind of thing we could all use a little more of right now.
What's the difference between boogers and broccoli?
That’s one of the jokes Marybeth and Eric Sauter wrote on a dry-erase board at the end of the driveway of their Winfield, Illinois, home. They’ve been posting the jokes daily since April 11, a little over a month into the coronavirus pandemic.
"It just felt like there was a lot of heaviness around," Marybeth Sauter told Patch. "Sometimes it's just the smallest thing that makes you have a little bit of hope and makes you feel better about your day."
Oh, the punchline to the boogers and broccoli joke?
Kids don’t eat broccoli. By Lisa Marie Farver for Wheaton Patch.
Below, read 10 more stories from Patch editors across America that’ll make you feel a little better about the state of the world.
Honestly, This Is The Best
Marines are never not Marines. Michael Schlachter is retired from the Corps, but he fought for the right thing after finding a wallet full of Christmas cash and gift cards dropped on the floor of a Brick, New Jersey, sporting goods store. The only clue to the owner’s identity was a message — one word written on each of on five $100 bills that combined conveyed: “Merry Christmas Mackenzie Love Mom.” Someone less honest might have pocketed the bounty, but Schlachter made finding the owner his mission. By Karen Wall for Brick Patch
Give The Sloth A Cup O’ Joe
Nikki Pezzopane and her 7-year-old son, Cameron Fica (top photo), share a passion for adventure and a fascination with sloths, and now they share "Slothee Wants Coffee," a children's book about both. When the pandemic curtailed their adventures, the San Diego pair sat down and spun a tale about the sloth from Costa Rica, a country they travel to frequently, and his travels around the world in search of a perfect cup of coffee. Their book is scheduled for publication in March. By Kristina Houck for San Diego Patch
A Voice For Black Women, Inspired By Mom
Linda Jackson Cocroft, for 17 years the voice and publisher of Black Women 50+ Health & Lifestyles Magazine, credits her mom for her success. The Butler, Wisconsin, woman launched her magazine to honor her mother, a hairstylist who shared food, clothing and sometimes shelter for people going through hard times. Her magazine is one of the few periodicals nationally dedicated exclusively to exploring the challenges, hopes, fears and celebrations of Black women. "Black women are a direct link to the entire Black community,” she told Patch. “Research also reveals that we influence 80 percent of all purchasing decisions made by African Americans.” By Karen Pilarski for Wauwatosa Patch
Real-Life Santa Comes Through
Just before Christmas, 4-year-old Andrew Maximiliano Rodriguez lost his letter to Santa with his wish list while riding his bicycle. Little did he know, the letter would end up in the hands of a good Samaritan who would play Santa Claus. The family woke up Christmas morning to find a package on their doorstep with a return address of the North Pole. By Priscilla Korb for Lindenhurst Patch
A $113,000 Toast
Coogan’s, an iconic bar and restaurant in New York City’s Washington Heights neighborhood, raised a toast to 22 Upper Manhattan businesses hit hard by the economic fallout of coronavirus pandemic, doling out $113,000 to help them stay afloat. What the beloved neighborhood did in a partnership with United Way of New York City is extraordinary by any measure, but especially so because Coogan’s permanently closed back in March because of the pandemic. By Gus Saltonstall for Washington Heights-Inwood Patch
Back On Track
Four years ago, Nick McErlean, now 31, was struggling to survive an addiction so deadly it almost stole his future. But through the faith of a woman who helped him find his way to recovery — and two Sag Harbor, New York, classmates who believed in him — today, McErlean has found love, family and a bright new career. By Lisa Finn for Riverhead Patch
Walking The Talk On Climate Change
Sarah Ryan, a junior at Glenbrook North High School in Illinois, doesn’t just talk about climate change. She’s doing something about and hopes others in her community will join her. Ryan is teaming with Tree-Plenish, a nonprofit whose mission is to create more-sustainable schools by replenishing the number of trees used to satisfy each school's paper requirements. "Climate change directly affects my future, and getting involved in programs like Tree-Plenish allows me to take some control over my future on this Earth," she said. By Eric DeGrechie for Northbrook Patch
Another Reminder The Kids Are Alright
Audrey Ha felt compelled to put her computer science knowledge to use amid a record-breaking hurricane season. The Menlo-Atherton, California, High School junior delivered an app using artificial intelligence and aerial photography to assess storm damage in a fraction of the time it would take the naked eye. Her SurveyHurricane app helps government agencies bring aid to where it's most needed and when minutes count. By Gideon Rubin for Palo Alto Patch
Sarge Finds A Home
Sarge spent two Christmases and countless days in a Scottsdale, Arizona, shelter, but the 3-year-old shepherd-pit bull mix was adopted by a family who say he’s “an amazing dog” who filled a hole left by the death of their dog. The Foothills Animal Rescue celebrated with a huge going-away party for Sarge, feting him with toys, treats and lots of affection. By Lindsay Walker for Scottsdale Patch
A Place Of Love Gets Love
Jacob’s House is a refuge for often distraught families who want to be nearby while their loved ones are treated for serious illnesses and injuries at nearby Valley Hospital in Temecula, California. Community donations keep the lights on, but nonprofit board members wanted to stretch the money as far as they could and looked into installing solar panels to cut utility costs. The savings would prove out, but the upgrade came with hefty upfront costs. Community members stepped in with generous donations. By Toni McAllister for Temecula Patch